Top Employers of Ultrasound Technicians

One of the best reasons to pursue a career in the medical world is that there are more and more jobs available with every year, no matter where you live. One of the best ways to find a job with the highest salary possible is to look at the top employers for your field. As an ultrasound tech, you have a number of employment options.

Facilities Where Ultrasound Technicians Can Work

Hospitals are, by far, the largest employers of ultrasound techs. Most hospitals employ sonographers, and some employ them in multiple departments, so specializing during your education and training will mean that you’re qualified for even more positions. As the job market expands, hospitals are likely to remain the largest employer of ultrasound techs, but the fast growth (and, thus, the most new jobs and job openings) will be in physicians’ offices, outpatient health care facilities, and laboratories. Currently, the most positions across the country are found with the following employers, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  1. General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  2. Offices of Physicians
  3. Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
  4. Outpatient Care Centers
  5. Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

With all of these employers, annual salaries are, on average, between $60,000 and $65,000. The employers that hire the most ultrasound techs aren’t necessarily those paying the highest, however. If you want to work for a top employer in terms of annual salary, look to the following types of employers of ultrasound techs:

  • Local Government: $78,080
  • Employment Services: $71,890
  • Office Administrative Services: $68,110
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises: $65,490
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools: $64,760

Of course, the above-listed annual salaries are simply averages, so the potential to earn more, even six figures, exists. As you can probably tell, however, you likely won’t qualify for these positions straight out of school with just an associate’s degree. Although that’s all you need, education-wise, to get started in the field of ultrasound technology, the candidates who are hired at top-paying facilities usually have bachelor’s degree and advanced training in a specialized area. The most certifications and special training you have, the better candidate you’ll be for employers. Even in this growing field, the job market can be quite competitive, especially for top-paying positions, so having just an associate’s degree may not be enough for the ultrasound tech job you want most.

Remember, higher salaries don’t just depend on advanced education. You’ll also be offered higher salaries as you get more experienced, and can receive raises annually from your employer based on job performance, so skills like patient care, diagnosing, and responsibility are all important. You’ll also earn more money if you’re willing to relocate, as certain areas of the country have a higher demand for ultrasound technicians. Right now, the highest demand for ultrasound techs is found in Florida, followed by Connecticut and New Jersey. Be flexible about where you live, and you’ll have more options when you’re finished with your education and it’s time to apply for ultrasound tech jobs.

Best Areas of the Country to Find Work as an Ultrasound Tech

Though the demand for diagnostic medical sonographers is highest in Florida, the median wage there may not be as good as in other locations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers detailed data about the parts of the country with the highest wages, most job opportunities, and highest concentrations of ultrasound technicians, as well as other data pertaining to the profession. The following is a breakdown of states that combine good job opportunities for ultrasound techs with above average wages. Rates of employment are calculated as a ratio of ultrasound tech jobs per thousand total jobs, and wages can be broken down as either hourly or annual means.

  • California has the highest rates of employment of diagnostic medical sonographers, but only the fourth highest annual mean wage, at $77,260.
  • Massachusetts has the highest annual mean wage, but doesn’t even rank in the top 5 for rates of employment.
  • Florida has the highest concentration of jobs, and the second highest employment rates, but does not rank in the top 5 best paying states.
  • Oregon offers the second highest mean wages, but is not ranked in the top 5 for employment rates or concentration of jobs in diagnostic medical sonography.

The BLS also generates a piece of data about employment called “location quotient,” which compares employment in a certain industry to overall employment in all fields in a particular area, as well as incorporating the demand for a particular type of worker, such as ultrasound technicians, in an area. The an area with a low location quotient likely has not met its own need for workers in the sector in question. This infographic illustrates the location quotients for diagnostic medical sonographers across the U.S.

How to Secure Employment and Advance your Sonography Career

Aside from getting an education from an accredited institution, there are a few basic steps you should take to ensure a good start and continued success in an ultrasound technician career. A certificate or degree is not enough to get you beyond an entry level position, and if you invest in an education, you should take action to assure that you can continue to increase your skills and advance to higher positions in the field. The following are a few wise and necessary moves you can make to give your career staying power and momentum.

  • Get Internships: Getting some hands-on experience working with ultrasound machinery and real patients in a clinical setting will make you a much more viable job candidate. After you’re hired, you’ll spend a lot of time explaining ultrasound to patients, and trying to keep them comfortable while you scan them. Proving that you’re capable of this before you apply for jobs boosts your credibility. Internships can last up to 12 months, and may be paid or unpaid.
  • Make Connections: Even in a highly technical field like diagnostic medical sonography, networking matters. Whether this means making friends with other students in your classes, or trying to shadow a professional ultrasound tech while you’re in school, you never know when knowing someone in the business will score you a job or at least a letter of recommendation.
  • Always Be Learning: Continuing education is not optional for most jobs in the medical field. The technology you use is always changing, and new knowledge is discovered at a rapid clip. Attending classes to keep your knowledge sharp and pick up new skills is an absolute must.
  • Registration: Becoming registered with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) adds legitimacy to your degree or certificate. This is a minimal requirement to show employers that you’ve learned the skills and proven your competence to a trusted issuer of credentials.

All of these steps will help you minimize the role of chance in your job search. There will always be an element of luck, and the possibility of being in the right place at the right time, but by controlling the above factors and using them to your advantage, you can give yourself the best odds of landing a great job and advancing from there.

Job Hunting

With the current lag in the job market, and economic woe making any kind of personal wealth-gain a struggle, getting a job as an ultrasound technician can give you a chance at good pay, job security, and the satisfaction of helping people in medical need. If you’re ready to get into school and start on your way toward a career in diagnostic medical sonography, use the widget embedded in this article to find a school that matches your needs.

Happy Scanning!

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